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To create better batteries and fuel cells, scientists must make oxygen molecules gain and lose electrons efficiently. The reactions are frustratingly sluggish. Speeding the reactions requires heat and platinum, which are costly. Now, researchers uncovered vital design principles to engineer catalysts that use more readily available metals and less heat. The catalysts performed well and were stable over the long term.
Scientists have been searching for better catalysts for electrodes in fuel cells and batteries. These catalysts drive reactions that move electrons to and from oxygen (known as oxygen electrocatalysis). However, creating such catalysts has been difficult. Why? Researchers used trial-and-error approaches. They needed the underlying design principles. With this information in hand, researchers can better avoid dead-ends and work on the most promising options.
Batteries - Fuel - Cells - Energy - Conversion
Creating efficient metal-air batteries, fuel cells, and other energy conversion and storage systems depends, in part, on how quickly oxygen molecules gain and lose electrons. To make these systems commercially viable, they need catalysts that are inexpensive,...
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